“The Killing Vote” was released in 2023, has 12 episodes, and is currently streaming on Amazon Prime. It can be categorized as Legal Drama, Crime, Thriller, and Action.
♦ Is it Murder or Is It Justice?
“The Killing Vote” grabbed the viewer’s attention right from the start. You think a violent crime is taking place. But then you realize that it’s an angry father, Kwon Seok-Joo, going after the man who violated his child. The justice system let that criminal walk the streets again. The father took it upon himself to render what he believed was just punishment. He stabbed the man to death. Is it murder or is it justice?
Of course, the father was sent to prison. In prison, the prisoners show him great respect and call him Professor Kwon.
But it looks like the justice system is in a loop. Law enforcement officers keep capturing criminals who are not justly punished and then released back onto the streets. Yet another criminal is released to walk the streets after serving a short period. So somebody develops an app that allows the people to vote on whether or not the criminal should be executed. Vote Yes or No. Initially, the police didn’t take it seriously until 84% voted Yes and the criminal was found dead.
Some might say it was a just punishment. But there are many “What If scenarios” to consider:
- A person thought the voting was a joke and played along for laughs.
- The “alleged” criminal was released because the justice system convicted the wrong person, but the media still circulated stories that he or she was guilty angering the public.
- The computer app was hacked and the vote count was reported incorrectly, i.e. 84% voted NO, but the app showed results that 84% voted YES.
- A person decides the only vote that matters is their vote and they execute the person they think deserves death.
There are lots more “What If scenarios” along with the moral and ethical reasons for “Why not” to support not allowing an individual or a group to take justice into their own hands.
♦ It’s Murder, Even Though You Don’t Feel Sorry
A masked man appears in a video and tells the voters that a vote will take place every two weeks. If more than 50% vote Yes, the criminal who was freely roaming the streets, will be executed. So? Regarding the execution … is it murder or is it justice?
This is an easy question for law enforcement to answer. IT’S MURDER! Even though the voters don’t feel the least bit sorry that the criminal was executed, it’s still murder! People just can’t go around taking justice into their own hands.
So a special investigations unit is set up. The unit is headed by Kim Mu-Chan, a detective who struggles with his conscience. According to his conscience, he knows people can’t just vote for a person’s execution. But on the other hand, he understands why. There have been many times when he felt that he failed to do his duty as an officer because the criminals he worked to bring to justice were set free.
Joo Hyun also understands why. Her co-workers steer clear of her because she blew the whistle on her team leader. It was a matter of conscience and the right thing to do. When it comes to cybercrime she has a keen eye and a talent for tracking the computer activity to its source.
She developed a lead regarding “The Killing Vote” app and took it straight to the Special Investigations Unit. Because it was such valuable information she was allowed to become a member of the SIU (Special Investigations Unit).
Based on the lead it appears that the person behind “The Killing Vote” app is Professor Kwon. But how could that be? He is in prison and never has any visitors. When Detective Kim Mu-Chan tries to visit him in prison, he refuses to speak to him.
Since the lead led the SIU to Professor Kwon, they started investigating the case from that point, hoping to find out how he managed to develop and send “The Killing Vote” app out to people all across the country. When you think about it, anyone who votes YES is an accomplice to the execution, i.e. the criminal’s murder. How can there be a fair and equal justice system based on votes that approve murder?
- Kim Mu-Chan (played by Park Hae-Jin)
- Joo Hyun (played by Lim Ji-Yeon, “Spiritwalker”)
- Kwon Seok-Joo (played by Park Sung-Woong, “Unlock My Boss”)
Viewership and Rating:
- IMDb: 7.2 out of 10 stars
- My Drama List: 8 out of 10 stars
- A Good Movie to Watch: 7.7 out of 10 stars
- Public reviews shared via Google: 4.4 out of 5 stars
- Amazon Customer Reviews: 4.4 out of 5 stars
My personal rating is 9 out of 10 stars. There are so many K-dramas similar to “The Killing Vote”, where the storyline is about people disgruntled and dissatisfied with the justice system, going after the criminal on their own, and rendering what they think is the appropriate punishment. Yes, it is an old plot but it’s a plot that never gets old.
My rating is also because the performances by the cast were excellent. Especially, Lim Ji-Yeon, who played the whistle-blowing cybercrime investigator. Lim Ji-Yeon won an award for her role in “The Glory”. She proved that she is a versatile actress because the character she played in “The Killing Vote” is a completely different type of person.
- You hated her in “The Glory” and wished for her downfall.
- But in “The Killing Vote”, you wanted to support her and cheer her on.
LINKS OF INTEREST:
- The Killing Vote Review: Classic tale of vigilante justice gone wrong | India Today
- Binge-worthy: The Killing Vote is a morally ambiguous K-thriller | The Straits Times
- Amazon Prime K-drama The Killing Vote: Park Hae-jin, Lim Ji-yeon lead uneven thriller that raises a moral quandary | South China Morning Post
K-Playlist. “The Killing Vote – Full Trailer | Park Hae-Jin, Lim Ji-Yeon.” YouTube Video. YouTube, August 1, 2023. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qpg_efJRBJs.